When I saw “Rocket Launchers Turned in During LAPD Gun Buyback” flash across my twitter stream Thursday I had to check it out. It’s not every day that a rocket launcher is paraded around outside a military base, let alone by police who picked one up for a gift card.
So of course, I clicked and read the story, written by Dennis Romero a LA Weekly.
“Cops picked up two — count ‘em two — rocket launchers!,” Romero writes.
In the story, photos show the police chief prominently holding up an AT-4 rocket launcher, which fires an 84mm projectile and is mostly used in anti-tank operations.
The problem is that it’s not a rocket launcher. It doesn’t launch rockets. It is a field handling trainer, as illustrated by the band around it along with “TRAINER” emblazoned across the side. Trainer AT-4s are non-functioning props, used to show soldiers how the weapon operates minus the big boom.
It is, quite literally, a long, green fiberglass tube that does nothing.